Spring, it would seem (at least on certain days) is finally here… and surely this takes your thoughts to spring – cleaning – of your closets. No? Actually, when viewed as rationale for creating the room to accommodate new spring shopping, for work and/or play, we get a lot more motivated.
To advise on the best way to approach for those of us whose schedules are as cluttered as our closets, we adapted some great tips from Bryn Taylor, founder of The Restylist (www.therestylist.com), a personal styling service and site dedicated exclusively to the fashion needs of women of 40. (How refreshing)!
Spring (Closet) Cleaning
Knowing that an organized, well-edited wardrobe is key to getting dressed best in the morning, here’s how you can tackle the task of getting there:
Prepare: Block out a chunk of time (which of course entails finding even a sliver); a late night or weekend morning can work. Give yourself some work space around the closet (including clearing off the bed so you have a place to make piles). Attempt to create the optimal fitting room environment with the best lighting possible (i.e. unlike most actual fitting rooms) and your favorite background music.
Recruit: Another pair of hands (or even more importantly, eyes) is helpful for moral support and constructive input on “keep” vs. “toss.” Those hands and/or eyes can come in the form of a professional stylist, a friend, daughter, or nanny. (Or a really sartorially-inclined spouse).
Question: As you go through everything in your closet, consider these key questions:
Does it fit?
If not, can it be altered? (If something doesn’t fit well, chances are you won’t pick it out to wear. And unaccepting of this corollary as some of us might be, this extends to those “skinny” clothes).
Do I have multiples? If yes, narrow to your favorites. (Wondering if 8 black blazers can be considered “narrowing to favorites”).
Have I worn it in the last six months? (Note, the experts would say that, if “no,” the answer is to toss; we’d rather reposition this to: question whether you can legitimately repurpose it and/or it will it come back).
Re-organize: This part is really the key. After you’ve taken everything out of the closet and edited, put everything back in the right way. What TO do: organize by clothing type (pants, skirts, etc), and then color within each type. What NOT to do: categorize clothing by function as this limits you to only thinking about items for certain situations. (A sequined top that screams ‘evening” can be great under a blazer for day).
Fold vs. hang: We’ll keep this simple – fold your sweaters, hang your pants.
Donate: as your ‘no go’ pile grows (a good thing), bag it and give it away to a good cause like “Dress for Success,” which can benefit others while providing you with a nice tax deduction in return. Other options include consignment stores, or the good old Salvation Army.
Self-Reward: Our favorite part – if you are a subscriber to the “one out, one in” rule, then the fruits of your labor are a merit badge to shop for some great new, of-the-moment spring/summer pieces. Alternatively, you will have likely turned up at least a couple of fabulous, forgotten items that will look like you went shopping, even if you just wound up shopping the depths of your closet. Wear them to work on Monday with a sense of accomplishment.
In the meantime, should you want to gift yourself this Mother’s Day with a little professional assistance in this department from near or far, you can SAVE 20% off of a Level I, II or III service from TheRestylist.com – just mention you are an Executive Mom.
To all, a VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!